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Rockin' Pig

This pint-sized porker is sure to please anyone with a passion for pigs and makes a perfect doorstop or paperweight.

Materials and Tools:
smooth, oval rock
small round pebble
four small, squared-off bits of gravel
tube of acetone-based wood putty or wood filler
clear household cement with acetone base
Patio Paint - Cloud White, Geranium Red, Patio Brick and Wrought Iron Black
1/4" Loew-Cornell shader brush
size 1 or 0 7500 series script liner brush

1. Begin with a plump oval shaped rock. It may be smaller than a hen's egg or big enough to hold in two hands — the size is up to you. Also find a small round pebble used to build a dimensional snout, and four gravel bits all of similar size and shape to build the legs. Wash all the rocks and pebble and gravel pieces to insure they are clean. Let dry.

Figure A

2. Add the snout. Any clear household cement or glue containing acetone may be used, along with a wood filler or putty that also contains acetone, to connect the pebbles and gravel bits to the larger rock. In the center at one end of the rock place a small dollop of clear cement, and on top of it, place a similarly small amount of wood putty.

Use the pebble selected for the snout to gently mix the two materials slightly, then press the pebble into place. When the two surfaces are pressed together, excess material squeezes out around the edges.

Use the tip of a small paintbrush handle to smooth the excess and fill in any gaps, You may opt to prop the rock in an upright position while the snout firmly adheres. Let dry until fully set- usually in an hour or less (Figure A).

Figure B

3. Attach the legs. Turn the rock on its back and check the gravel pieces for fit. The end to be glued should match up well with the body of the rock for a sturdy addition. Attach the legs one at a time as you did with the snout, combining small amounts of glue with wood filler and again using the excess to fill in any cracks.

Allow each leg to firmly set before going on to the next one. Once three legs are in place and set, turn the pig over to see how best to position the remaining leg so that all four support the pig. Look for any gaps around the additions and fill them in by adding small amounts of wood filler with a toothpick. Allow to cure for 30 minutes to an hour (Figure B).

Figure C

4. Paint your pig. Mix four to five parts of Cloud White paint with one-part Geranium Red Patio Paint to get a medium shade of pink. Use a small shader brush to paint the entire pig including the snout and the leg additions (Figure C). Check from every angle to insure complete coverage. Very smooth rocks may require a second coat.

Figure D

5. Sketch on details. Use an ordinary pencil to sketch a round head shape with the snout at its center. The head should take up between a quarter and a third of the rock, leaving the remainder for the body. Along the top half of the head, place small triangle shaped ears to either side as shown on the pattern. Pencil in two widely spaced eyes and a curved line for the mouth directly below the snout. Create two smaller curved lines at either end of the mouth to indicate plump cheeks (Figure D). At the rear end, draw a small corkscrew tail. Above the front legs extend a short line up into the body from the back line of each added leg, and extend a similar line up from the front edge of the two back legs.

Figure E

6. Paint the details. Use a script liner brush in size 0 or 1 and Patio Paint in Patio Brick darkened with a touch of black to go over the line of the head circle and the ear shapes (Figure E) as well as painting over the lines of the curly tail. Paint over the lines extending up from the front and rear legs. Paint a smaller circle around the shape of the snout itself, and add two large oval nostrils. Along the bridge of the snout, add several small curving wrinkles. At the ends of the legs paint small "W"-shaped cloven hooves.

Figure F

Switch to black paint to fill in the eye shapes and to add shadows to the tops of the two nostril shapes. Finally, use white paint to fill in the shapes of the hooves and give each eye a tiny fleck of white paint to create a sparkle (Figure F).

7. Add shading. To give your pig more dimension, mix up a deeper shade of pink, using 3 parts white to one part red. Pick up a bit of this color on your shader brush, then wipe away most of the pigment so that you must 'scrub' the remaining paint to apply it. Scrub along the bottom of the pigs tummy and up along the sides between the lines extending up from the legs.

Figure G

Add a bit of this soft shadow below each of the ears as well, and just a touch of this brighter pink along the curving cheek lines (Figure G). Add enough white to make a clearly lighter shade of pink and use this to highlight the rounded shapes of the cheeks. When completed, you may choose to seal the piece with a brush-on or spray-on coat of clear sealer.

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